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Public Works Committee refutes Ward Councillor’s claims in local newspaper


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Public Works Committee refutes Ward Councillor’s claims in local newspaper

27th February 2024


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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by

The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure refutes the claims made by the Wynberg Ward councillor, Mr Emile Langenhoven, in one of Cape Town’s local newspapers, the Constantiaberg Bulletin (14 December 2023), that the committee did its work by caucusing “behind closed doors” and had ignored the recommendations of the Waterloo Green community.
Mr Langenhoven’s regrettable comments concern a petition dealing with serious issues plaguing the Waterloo Green community in Wynberg, a suburb of Cape Town. The petition relates to alleged criminal activities in two derelict houses on government property that should be maintained by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. A member of the committee, Mr I Seitlholo (MP, Democratic Alliance), brought the petition calling for the demolition of the two houses on the property to the attention of the Speaker of the National Assembly, who referred the matter to the committee.
The committee held an open meeting in which it heard presentations from the ward councillor, members of the Waterloo Green community, and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. After discussing the proposed options put before it, the committee came to a decision that demolishing the two derelict houses on Waterloo Green Road would not address the actual problem. The committee is firm in its conviction that the criminal activities at the base of this petition are a manifestation of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The committee’s report therefore recommends not to follow the community’s proposals for the property. These proposals included subdividing the property into four separate erven and selling them on the open market while allowing schools in the area to use the remaining land for parking or other purposes. The committee instead recommended that the derelict houses be renovated to establish “holistic substance-use prevention and rehabilitation centres that provide related services in the Waterloo Green Wynberg area to serve the community”.
The committee reiterates the fact is that it did not caucus behind closed doors, as it is claimed by Mr Langenhoven in his published article in the Constantiaberg Bulletin. It rejects the allegation in the strongest possible terms. The work on this petition happened as prescribed by section 59(1) of the Constitution in an open manner with the community.
In response to the false claims made by Mr Langenhoven, the committee took a decision that Mr Langenhoven should withdraw the article and publicly apologise for the false claims and accusations he made in the article.
Issued by the Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, Ms Nolitha Ntobongwana



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